The 20/20 Experience
By Kendra Okereke
I really didn’t know what to expect from my stay here in Los Angeles. I’m a VPA Film Major and have never taken a Newhouse class or been to LA previously. I just knew I’d be happy because I would get some much needed Vitamin C after living in Washington State for 18 years. I quickly learned that this program has so much to offer, but what really counts is what is done outside of the classroom. I would explore everything LA had to offer. I might have had an advantage because my older brother lives out here as well. Every weekend, I was either going to a TV release party, a free screening through The Wrap Series, or working on set. By doing all these events, I found that I met so many people I normally wouldn’t have. When I went to the Emmy’s, I was fortunate enough to meet Seth Green who I have literally grown up with along with Carrie Preston from HBO’s True Blood. This was an amazing experience that wouldn’t have been possible without the program. I went to a lot of screenings through a company called The Wrap and through this, I met actors Casey Affleck and Bruce Dern as well as the screenwriters for Matthew McConaughey’s new film, Dallas Buyers Club. The DGA had a screening of NBC Universal’s Short Film Cuts competition that I attended in which I met actors Marlon Wayans and Craig Robinson. I went to a TV release party for the show Love That Girl and met some of my childhood favorites, Kel Mitchell from Nickelodeon’s Keenan and Kel and singer/actor, Marques Houston. I helped on the set of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s TV show organization called hitRECord and met him as well, I even danced with him for a little bit. The best part about al these encounters were that they were totally free! I went out on Halloween night and ended up running into Cuba Gooding Jr. He was a really nice guy and we talked for a bit. All of these events weren’t part of the program, but happened because I made the best of my experience in LA. I’m so happy I met all of these people, most of whom I’ve watched or listened to my whole life. LA is what you make of it. It’s really a mirror, if you come in with a positive attitude, it will reflect positivity back on you and the same with negativity. Make the most out of this LA trip and even though the program provides amazing opportunities like tickets to the Creative Arts Emmys and the American Music Awards (where I sat behind Taylor Swift) there is so much more out there that you have to take the initiative to explore.